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  #1  
Old 2006-10-30, 08:11 PM
KBMF
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Default hardwood floors/stairs

These may be naive questions but really im not at all sure how this process works.

If we choose not to do hardwood floors through the builder (as we are not 100% in love with any of their selections), we likely wont do the stairs either as we would like them to match, so is it really much more expensive/difficult to do the stairs afterwards? I have read/heard numerous times that the stairs is the one thing is that is actually cheaper through the builder.

Also, I read that it may difficult/impossible to change the railings afterwards, is this the case?

If this is the case, is it best to do the stairs through the builder, and then hardwood floors on our own?

Mattamy mentions that if we do this, striping the stairs to stain it to match the floors is very difficult and I am guessing also expensive. Again wondering if this is in fact the case?

Just another side question: has anyone got hardwood installation priced? I went to one ottawa flooring company and they priced about 12.50 for the mirage hardwood that mattamy offers for 14.50. This is really not much cheaper then mattamy especially considering the inconvenience factor. I thought it would be a much greater difference? Was this just a high priced company I went to or is this typical?

Any info/suggestions is very very appreciated!!!
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Old 2006-10-30, 10:41 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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About 8 years ago, I had hardwood installed including the stairs (it was all carpet before). To do the stairs was almost the same price as doing the floors (1st and 2nd floors). We did not get the prefinish stuff, instead, we had it finished onsite. It was about $5 a square foot (wood, finish onsite, and labor). Depending how fancy your stairs are, the more it cost of course.

As for the railing, there should be no problems changing it. We changed ours when we did our stairs.

I have no idea how hard or expensive it would be to re-stain the stairs after they are installed. But if you called a couple of places that re-finish stairs, they should be able to tell you. Maybe you could ask them not to stain the stairs. If you plan to do the hardwood floors soon after you move in, then you should be ok.

I would call around for some more quotes on doing hardwood floors. Maybe going with onsite finish instead of prefinish would be cheaper? (if you can delay moving into your new home 2-3 weeks after closing date so they can install the hardwood floors, sand it, and stain it)

PS If you get someone to do your stairs, make sure they have experience doing stairs. The company we hired to do our floors did not have experience doing stairs, and it showed. The work took forever to get done properly.

Joseph
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Old 2006-10-31, 09:26 AM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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I just got my upgrade price list from Mattamy yesterday. They quote between $11 to $15 per square foot for installed hardwood depending on the brand and finish. This is consistent with what my parents paid for oak ($15/sf) for their home in 2001. In fact some of the rates are a little cheaper.

Ceramic installation also seems very reasonable ($544 to cover the kitchen/breakfast area). I think for me this is an incremental upgrade cost over vinyl. Home Depot charges $4.25/sf for installation on top of the cost of the tiles ($5-10/sf).

Some things are just ridiculous ($1443 for a glass shower door?!) and kitchen upgrades seem to cost an arm and a leg ($1900 for under cabinet lighting and a deeper cabinet only above the fridge). But the flooring costs seemed fairly reasonably priced. (Except maybe carpet and underpad).

Making the stairs in all hardwood was about $4800 in my home. I'm not going to bother.
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Old 2006-10-31, 09:30 AM
Ena Ena is offline
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We got a few quotes for hardwood as well and the difference was about $1000-$1500....and when we factored in the inconvenience of doing the floors after we move in....it just isn't worth it. The upgrade bonus will cover most of the hardwood cost...

p.s. It costs $250 each to stain the railings and the mantle to match the hardwood.
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Old 2006-10-31, 10:09 AM
jl9004 jl9004 is offline
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We actually got quotes for the frameless glass shower door and they were about the same. Other builders charge alot more.
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Old 2006-10-31, 10:25 AM
J&A J&A is offline
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KBMF,

A co-worker of mine bought Mirage stained oak about 1 year ago for a little less than $8/sq.ft. He bought from a store called "Breult & Martineau". You can definitely get cheaper hardwood though, if you don't care about quality. Personally, I have heard great things about Mirage and was glad to see Mattamy offering it.

I would imagine installation would add $2-3/sq.ft to that price, so your quote might not be that far off. But I'm really guessing on that part!
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  #7  
Old 2006-11-02, 07:05 PM
KBMF
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Smile

I just wrote a long post and somehow clicked a button that made it dissappear.

So here goes again

Thanks so much for all the info in this thread. I am leaning much more towards mattamy for the hardwood. It just seems that the quotes posted here are comparable to the one I received and to mattamy's quote, so for the convenience factor alone it seems going with mattamy is a reasonable choice.

250 for the stair stain also seems reasonable, and unfortunately I dont think mattamy is willing to leave the stairs unstained, so it seems unlikely that it will be cheaper to have an outside contractor strip and stain them for less than that. But I will have to double check this with Kim before i make any decions.

Joseph, wow, I cant believe the stairs cost was equal to the first and second floors! I am also worried about finding a good contractor to if I choose to go that route, which is another reason I am leaning towards mattamy. I havent looked into onsite finish, but unfortunately I am living in an apartment so I wouldnt be able to afford to wait the 2-3 weeks. Does the onsite finish look better than the prefinish?

Thanks again for all the info. really appreciate it!!
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  #8  
Old 2006-11-03, 12:14 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBMF
Joseph, wow, I cant believe the stairs cost was equal to the first and second floors! I am also worried about finding a good contractor to if I choose to go that route, which is another reason I am leaning towards mattamy. I havent looked into onsite finish, but unfortunately I am living in an apartment so I wouldnt be able to afford to wait the 2-3 weeks. Does the onsite finish look better than the prefinish?
Our stairs had a few twist to it, so it explains the extra cost. I also had a few pie shape steps which they had to custom build. Etc. I think they also charged me extra because doing the stairs is not something they usually do, so I guess it was to discourage people. In retrospec, I regret no hiring another guy who does this as his job (he was a little more expensive, but man, his work is of excellent quality). But unfortunately, we were on a tight budget and a bit "wet behind the ears" when it came to hiring contractors for renovations (man was that project a wakeup call for us!)

I would not say onsite finish hardwood looks better than the prefinish stuff. I like the onsite stuff because you can be really picky about the stain and finish on it. Plus its all sanded down, so its a really even floor. And when the finish is applied, it makes for one continuous seal (assuming you keep the humidity in your home fairly stable so the wood does not expand/contract much). But you have to be willing to live out of your home for a few days for the work to be all done.

I was warned that the sanding would be messy. Not so. The new sanders they have catch most of the dust. I would just plug your heating/colling vents.
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